Why Vintage G.I.Joe Prices Are Rising with Mark Bellomo and Paul Kennedy

Yesterday, G.I.Joe Historian and all around swell guy, Mr. Mark Bellomo, sat down with Mr. Paul Kennedy, EIC of Krause Publications, for an interview on Mark’s latest hit, The Ultimate Guide to G.I.Joe volume 3.

During their discussion, they also chatted about the many factors that have contributed to substantial price increases within the vintage 3 3/4” G.I. Joe brand—particularly during the last eighteen months.

Published on Antique Trader, “Why vintage G.I.Joe prices are rising” is well worth the read. Check out a brief passage below –

Why vintage G.I. Joe prices are rising

1983 Cobra figure.

1) First generation collectors aren’t selling the products they own. Many 1st-gen collectors are exceedingly devoted to the brand. Because of this, we’ve finished our collections (or completed the aspects of the franchise we love) and aren’t re-selling them on the secondary market. This takes a LOT of quality product out of the market, and raises the prices of the remaining available items.

2) eBay isn’t the sole province to sell items anymore. Currently, you can turn on your cell phone camera, get on Facebook Live at ANY TIME, and start your very own live auction. Time it yourself. Take bid through FB comments. State that the auction ends at a particular time, and simply accept the final bid right before the auction finishes. Use Venmo, Google Pay, or a host of other trustworthy electronic wallets to accept and send payment (VERY easy to sign up), and ship the item out to the winner.

And YOU can do this. RIGHT NOW. On Facebook. With no experience necessary. And you don’t have to give eBay and PayPal 8-15% of your profits. It’s more impulsive, but far more streamlined. Better than that… it WORKS. You’ve got FAR more control today than you did in the early 2000s. This manner of selling is raising prices as well.

3) Around the turn of the millennium, it was challenging to obtain and confirm choice tidbits of information about the 3 3/4” brand. Today, the exchange of information is far more streamlined and accessible: no longer do you have to join a forum and hope you find a response to your query. Instant information and confirmation about completeness and condition of a toy lends itself to a quicker purchase and higher level of consumer confidence.

1988 Target Hit & Run exclusive G.I. Joe

4) Finding factory-sealed samples of 3 3/4” G.I. Joe toys—regardless of the condition of the packaging—is becoming nearly impossible for many items. In 2002, many devoted Joe collectors hunted down sealed samples of figures and vehicles, striving to obtain a complete collection of their favorite toy line in MISB (Mint In Sealed Box—for vehicles and weapon systems) and MOC (Mint On Card—for action figures and select accessories/accoutrements) conditions. And perhaps if you were truly devoted to the line, and worked a second job, you could acquire a factory-sealed 3 3/4” G.I. Joe line in fifteen years: from 2000-2015.

However, these factory-sealed samples of figures and vehicles are slowly growing more and more difficult to obtain: the best-condition, high-end pieces reside in the hands of über-collectors, yet when they are available for sale (which is rarely), the bidding is often so frenzied that if you’re not bringing thousands of dollars to the table, you’re edged out of the conversation entirely.

Factory-sealed vehicles and carded action figures are becoming quite rare, and possess values so exorbitant that they are simply out of most collectors’ price ranges. Which is compounded by the next fact…

5) Vintage 3 3/4” G.I. Joe toys were manufactured AT LEAST 24 years ago; at most, 36 years ago. On average, these prized collectibles are three decades old. That’s a loooooong time for things to break down, even if these prized collectibles are stored within a climate-controlled space.


The article includes so much more insight, so make sure to click through above to check it out in its entirety. As the price flux on the secondary impacted you in any way?

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